The Rich Mountain Rendezvous was known for many years as “The Jailbreak in the Clouds.” Starting in 1999, every third weekend in September members of The Chain Gang – an Internet motorcycle club for owners of the BMW F650 – gathered at Queen Wilhelmina State Park to “kick tires and tell lies.”
At that first meeting, participants made a donation to help children in Pope County. There were not many more than a dozen riders that year, and a modest collection of less than $100 was donated to a local organization. It was a complete surprise for that organization and, as it turned out, a very timely donation.
The next year, there were more riders as word had spread about the camaraderie that the rally offered. Bob Young, the director of the recipient organization, told how the donation from the year before was used to provide shelter and protection for a mother and her children from an abusive husband. The hat was passed and the donation at the second rally surpassed that of the previous year.
Word spread about the rally, about sitting around the fire late in the evening, about the great motorcycling in the area, about the food and fellowship…and about helping children.
In 2010, The Chain Gang began its connection to CASA of the Ouachita, and when The Chain Gang disbanded in 2013, the rally was renamed Rich Mountain Rendezvous. By then, riders of all types of motorcycles participated. The only requirement was that riders enjoy the food and friendship, and that each bring dollars for the kids.
The rally offers tent camping, with discounted RV camping and rooms at the beautiful Queen Wilhelmina lodge, breakfasts and suppers, a live band, and more than a few surprises for participants. In addition, there is great riding for those who like twisty pavement or off-road, door prizes and an auction, and a chance to help make a difference in the lives of children.
Cynthia Martin is the Ouachita CASA Director. She and her volunteers make sure that rally participants are well fed and entertained. Rally volunteers and participants give their time and energy to make Rich Mountain Rendezvous the great gathering of friends that it is.
The Rendezvous Motto: